High schoolers get taste of NFL Draft experience at AT&T Stadium

ARLINGTON -- It was Friday Night Lights, NFL Draft-style as the National Football League hosted a special red carpet show for high school teams from across Dallas-Fort Worth.

Players and coaches got to walk down the same red carpet that the pro prospects walked down prior to the first round of the draft on Thursday, get interviewed by NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest as well as other media, mingle with current and former NFL players, and then watch the second and third rounds of the draft inside AT&T Stadium.

"Not an everyday thing, you get to come out and meet NFL stars, to be able to hang out or be as close them as I am here," said Arlington Lamar junior lineman Senituli Teuhema.

"You look up to them," added Arlington Lamar sophomore quarterback Jack Dawson.  "I want to be in their shoes, and hopefully I can be in their shoes one day."

But it wasn't just the teams getting to experience the big stage.  High school reporters and photographers were also invited to get a taste of the media side of the NFL Draft.

"I can't even describe how excited these kids are," said Kristy Rodgers, a journalism teacher at John Paul II High School in Plano.  "They're going to have some special opportunities to see some studio work and some different things going on back behind the scenes to see how real journalists are covering the event."

Even Dallas Cowboys legend Drew Pearson was impressed with the show, recalling how happy he was as a kid when he would catch a glimpse of Alex Webster, a future member of the New York Giants' Ring of Honor who lived in Pearson's neighborhood.

"We used to just go sit on the curb and wait for him to come home," said Pearson.  "Back then you didn't chase autographs, you just wanted to see somebody.  So for these kids to be out here to see somebody and to participate in everything that's going on, man, they've got to be able to understand how blessed they are."

Yeah, we don't think that will be a problem!